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Phil

Multiple xslt transforms

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Hi All,

Can anyone tell me if the following scenario is possible -- and if so, how I might start to implement it? I am not sure of what terms to use even to describe what I want to do -- so Google is not really helping me much. I'll describe as best I can...

I have some data that fits well as a XML document. Being XML, I can develop tools to read this data, and ultimately to insert the data into a database. So far, so good.

However, I also need to interact with end users. I have already played with XSLT, and can transform my data either into a HTML web page, or into a .xslx spreadsheet, and probably a few other formats as well. However, what I really want to do is somehow give the end user the choice of what transform will actually be applied, and how the data will be presented.

I am working inside a corporate environment with moderately high security settings, which affect the ability to run MS macros etc. But it would be very good to be able to have the transform process take into account any settings saved into the local users home directory, and to process the data accordingly to either produce a nicely formatted web-page, or a spreadsheet, or to automatically import into a database.

Is this possible / feasible (even if we limit our options to a specific platform)? If so, what solution am I searching for?

Thanks

Phil

 

 

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Where do you expect this program to be?  Is this is a website?  Is it something people install on their own computer?

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Hi.

Previous experiments focused on the transfer of the XML file. Method variable -- tests suggest that both via HTTP and as an email attachment work, being passed through a standard web-browser to apply the transform. The XSLT, along with any other necessary file, is to be delivered via HTTP. No program to be installed on the end user's terminal, other than what is already there (usually IE and MS Office).

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If you're doing everything online then it sounds like the only other part is maybe a form where they pick the particular transformation, then you send them the appropriate files.

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Not sure if this will work. The data is coming separately from the transform files.

ie: The actual data is sent initially internally -- probably via email as a XML file. The XSLT file may be loaded over HTTP, but that server will not have any knowledge of what the data is, only how to manipulate and transform it. The use should experience as simple an interaction as possible -- hence the query of whether it is possible to have alternative transforms applied according to local settings.

Biggest problem for me at the moment is that I am not sure how best to describe this, or what to search for...

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If you're talking about things like local settings, and using logic to figure out what to do, then you're talking about a program.  You've said that no program will be installed on the client machines, but you want the logic of a program, which are conflicting goals.  I honestly don't know what the capabilities of Office macros are these days, I don't know if you can write a macro to read data from an arbitrary file on their computer, or whether you can use a macro to perform a transformation and display it to the user.  But if you need the capabilities of a program with regard to things like reading settings and performing logic then you have to use a program somewhere, even if it's just a macro.

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OK. That's really helpful. I wasn't sure (since I am very much toying with ideas and what could be possible in theory, and nowhere near experienced enough). 

Sorry to sound so dim. I'll look at alternative approaches...

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